22 October 2016

Yingluck Shinawatra:
“I will use every channel available to fight this...”

Democracy Monument

Former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra has been fined the equivalent of $1 billion after an investigation into her government’s rice subsidy scheme, and her assets are liable for seizure by the Legal Execution Department. Yingluck announced that she will appeal against the verdict, saying: “it is not right and it is not just. I will use every channel available to fight this.”

In 2011, Yingluck’s Pheu Thai government agreed to pay farmers up to 50% above the market rate for their rice, intending to withhold it from the world market and thus drive up the price. The result, however, was that other countries in the region increased their rice exports, leaving the government with vast stockpiles that it could not sell.

Yingluck is the sister of Thaksin Shinawatra, whose assets were frozen in 2007 and finally confiscated in 2010. She was elected in 2011, though the People’s Democratic Reform Committee organised protests against her government. She called an election in 2014, though it was boycotted by the opposition and sabotaged by the PDRC. She was removed from office shortly before a military coup, and was retroactively impeached last year.

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